National broadcaster Vietnam Television (VTV) is still assertive that it will not agree to pay for this year’s FIFA World Cup broadcasting rights unless the price suits its financial capacity.
Although there are only eight days left before the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins, football fans across Vietnam are still uncertain whether or not they will be able to watch the global event on national television.
Vietnam remains the only nation in Southeast Asia that has not reached a deal with Switzerland-based Infront Sports & Media, distributor of the World Cup telecast rights.
Infront previously asked for US$15 million for a full package including all 64 matches of the football (soccer) championship.
The package allows a broadcaster to offer services on all platforms, including television, mobile, radio and the Internet.
VTV stated on May 29 that it would pay $8 million for the broadcasting rights.
However, the distributor has yet to announce any positive response so far.
Nguyen Ha Nam, a senior VTV official, reiterated on Tuesday that the original price Infront had demanded was too high.
“VTV does want to purchase the broadcasting rights to satisfy all football lovers in the country, but it doesn’t mean we will buy them at any cost. We still need to take into consideration our financial capacity,” Nam elaborated.
Meanwhile, a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper at the state television revealed that the negotiation regarding the telecast rights on TV platforms had been completed.
The problem is that VTV is still unable to purchase the rights to air the football matches on its Internet and mobile platforms, which is essential for copyright protection.
“If the copyright is infringed, VTV will be subject to a heavy fine,” the source said.
In its 21st edition this year, the FIFA World Cup will be competed from June 14 to July 15 in Russia.
The prices of the World Cup broadcasting rights for the Vietnamese market have spiked over the last decade, from $2 million in 2006 to $7 million for the last games in 2014 in Brazil.